Including a high level of walnuts or walnut oil in your diet has a number of health benefits and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.
The study, carried out by researchers at the University of California, and published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, found that walnuts slow the growth of prostate cancer, lower cholesterol, and increase insulin sensitivity. In addition, the walnut diet reduces levels of IGF-1, a hormone thought to increase the risk of prostate and breast cancer.
Nutritionist and lead author Paul Davis said: “For years, the United States government has been on a crusade against fat, and I think it’s been to our detriment. Walnuts are a perfect example. While they are high in fat, their fat does not drive prostate cancer growth. In fact, walnuts do just the opposite when fed to mice.”
Previous studies conducted by the researchers indicated that omega-3 fatty acids were responsible for these health benefits. However, this study suggests that omega-3 works in conjunction with other things found in walnut oil.
A number of the health benefits identified by the study have the potential to benefit people with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes. The increase in insulin sensitivity reduces the amount of insulin required to lower blood glucose levels, thus countering insulin resistance.
Moreover, the study found that walnut oil reduces cholesterol. High cholesterol is linked to cardiovascular (heart) disease and stroke – two of the leading causes of death for people with diabetes – as well as increasing the incidence of long term diabetic complications.

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